Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spiced Apple Meatballs

Fruit in my meatballs? Why not?

I saw this recipe on another blog, and I had to scoop it up! Why? Because it's made with apple butter! My Grandpa Don loved apple butter, and my mom always made sure we had some in stock before he'd come for his month long visits.

I always thought it sounded like a really strange condiment--until I tried it this weekend.

I have been missing out! It's delicious. Applesauce for adults, but not meant to be eaten by itself. I'm thinking it would be good on an English muffin. 

So I wanted to make these meatballs:

and pay homage to my Grandpa Don. 

Spiced Apple Meatballs  serves 4/15 generous meatballs
  • 1/2 red onion, grated
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup apple butter
  • 1/8 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 more cup of apple butter for the gravy
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 4 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch and 1 Tbsp water to make a slurry
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet like I did with a silpat. Heat a nonstick saute pan on medium. Melt butter and add in the grated onions and saute for about 4 minutes. I'm not going to go cray cray with the ads, but OMG, use this to grate your onions.  I Love this thing. I have had it for about seven years. One of the best kitchen gadgets. Evah!! sorry.

In a large bowl, mix the beef, panko, egg, 1/4c apple butter, sour cream, salt, pepper and allspice. Add the onion once it has cooled--enough so you don't scramble your egg. I laid my onions on the cold beef to cool them off quickly. Mix it all together with clean hands.

Roll the meat mixture into balls. You can choose what size balls you'd like ;) Place meatballs on the pan. Place pan on the rack in the oven. Pour about 1/2 cup of water around the meatballs. This will encourage even cooking. Bake for about 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil some egg noodles or make some rice. Make the gravy so it's ready when the meatballs are.

Make the slurry in a small bowl so it's ready to go. Just stir together one tablespoon of cold water and two tablespoons of corn starch.

Heat in a sauce pan the beef broth, one cup of apple butter, honey, and as much cayenne pepper as you wish. Whisk in the corn starch slurry to get it to thicken. Keep whisking until you're ready to pour it over the meatballs. This doesn't need to be cooked:  we're just heating it up.

Eat it.